90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (8/31/19)

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Saturday, August 31, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (8/31/19)

It is time, once again, to check out some of the strangest and most unusual stories to hit our headlines this week. If you missed the last offbeat list, you can catch up here.We have two space stories this week. One involves NASA investigating the first alleged crime in space, while the other looks at the possible end to the decades-old tradition of astronauts peeing on the bus wheel on the way to a launch. There is also a story that will make arachnophobes sleep with earplugs on, a remarkable discovery made in ancient puma poop, and a stunning look at a ship “lost in time” for a century and a half.

10Naked On The Streets Of Philly

Photo credit: David Cimetta/AP
Thousands of cyclists stripped down and took to the streets of Philadelphia in the 11th annual Philly Naked Bike Ride.The goals of the au naturel event include advocating for cyclist safety, promoting positive body image, and minimizing our dependence on fossil fuels. The riders get naked, but exactly how far they go is up to them: Some dress down to their tighty-whities, others cover up in body paint, and some go full commando. They then embark on a 16-kilometer (10 mi) course through Philadelphia which includes some of the city’s most notable landmarks, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.[1]In previous years, the Philly Naked Bike Ride was held in September, but organizers moved it up to August for a warmer, more nude-friendly weather.

9Crime . . . In Space

Photo credit: NASA/Elizabeth Weissinger
Reportedly, NASA is investigating the first allegation of a crime committed in space after astronaut Anne McClain accessed the bank account of her former spouse without permission.[2]McClain married Air Force intelligence officer Summer Worden in 2014 and divorced her four years later. During that time, the astronaut helped raise Worden’s son, Briggs. McClain admitted that she had accessed the bank account during a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS) but denies any wrongdoing. She claims she only wanted to make sure that there were sufficient funds to care for her son. In turn, Worden filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, arguing that McClain committed identity theft. She also brought a complaint with NASA’s Office of Inspector General.McClain said through her lawyer that she had merely continued existing behavior that had been approved by Worden in the past to oversee the welfare of six-year-old Briggs. On the other hand, the Air Force officer claims this is just another move in a long-standing strategy on behalf of the astronaut to gain custody of her son.No NASA or FTC officials have made a statement on the matter yet, although they did specify that this could, potentially, be the first crime committed aboard the ISS.

8Eight-Legged Surprise

Photo credit: WDAF-TV
Arachnophobes beware: If you are squeamish about spiders, you might want to skip this one.A woman from Kansas City, Missouri, went to the doctor because she thought she had water in her left ear. Turns out it was actually a brown recluse spider that had ended up in her ear canal.When Susie Torres woke up last Wednesday morning with sloshing and popping sounds in her ear, she didn’t think too much of it. It was probably just some water that got stuck in there. She decided to get it looked at, anyway. Torres got a sense that something was wrong when the medical assistant who was checking her ran out of the exam room and came back with six more people, including a doctor. They tried to break the news gently that she had a spider inside her head.[3]The doctor first tried to flush the arachnid out, with no success. Eventually, he managed to pull it out in one piece. The nurses told Torres that the spider was dead, although she thinks they could have said that just to keep her calm.Surprisingly, the spider went in and out without biting the woman once. She believes that it could have entered her ear canal while she was sleeping and swears that she will be using earplugs from now on.

7Karma Is A You-Know-What

In a stunning case of instant karma, a man from Kennewick, Washington, had his truck stolen while he was allegedly busy robbing a store across the street.Early Sunday morning, the Kennewick Police Department received a report from 42-year-old William Kelley that somebody had stolen his Chevrolet pickup truck. According to his statement, he had been drinking at the tavern where the vehicle was parked on Saturday night. Not wanting to drive drunk, he left the truck there and went home.However, surveillance footage told a different story. Police say that Kelley parked his car in front of the bar at 5:30 AM and then broke into and robbed the business across the street.[4] While this was happening, another man on a bike drove past his truck and noticed the keys were left inside. He then put his bicycle in the bed of the vehicle and drove off.Kelley already had an outstanding warrant, so he was arrested for that and charged with a new count of burglary. The other man remains unidentified.

6Groin-Assisted Surgery

Photo credit: The Telegraph
English surgeons managed to save the hand of a man who had almost chopped it off completely by sewing it to his groin for two weeks.Forty-six-year-old carpenter Anthony Lelliott was rushed to St George’s Hospital in London with one of the most complex amputations that doctors there had ever seen. He suffered an accident with a revolving saw and nearly severed half of his palm and his first two fingers.He went into surgery for 17 hours. Doctors first fixed his broken bones and then used nerve and vein grafts from his forearm and foot, respectively. His middle finger was beyond saving, so instead, surgeons decided to use what was left of it to help reconstruct the palm.Despite these procedures, there was still not enough skin to fix the damage. Therefore, doctors cut a flap in Lelliott’s groin and attached his hand to it.[5] After two weeks, enough extra skin grew to finish the procedure. Since then, Lelliott has regained feeling and some movement in his hand.

5Coin Hoard Reveals Medieval Scam

Photo credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
A coin hoard found back in January in England not only represents the largest-ever cache from the period immediately following the Norman conquest but also contains examples of a medieval coin scam.The year 1066 was a pivotal moment in English history. William the Conqueror overthrew the Anglo-Saxons and became the first Norman king of the country. Fast-forward almost 1,000 years, and a couple of metal detectorists stumbled onto a giant cache of coins while teaching some friends to use metal detectors. They were in a field near Chew Valley in Somerset, and almost as soon as they got started, one of them found a single coin depicting William the Conqueror. This was an exceedingly rare find in and of itself, but the group then discovered...

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